The Omniplex in Tralee, County Kerry has offered free tickets to visitors who were fined for illegally parking in a cycle lane outside. 30 to 40 motorists were issued with €40 fines and those who presented proof of payment at the cinema were granted free entry.
Kerry County Council said that cars often park on both sides of Dan Spring Road and that it is a traffic hazard. A couple of weeks ago, it put up signs advising people not to park there or fines would be issued.
Thanks to a special offer, the Omniplex is particularly busy on Tuesday nights. Once its car park was full, people started parking on the road.
Two staff members were in the car park to let people know that there was no more space and that they could park in the Brandon car park on Prince’s Street, a seven-minute walk away. There were also two signs providing the same information.
Independent.ie reports that those fined were ‘furious’ about it and the Omniplex complimentary ticket offer was seemingly in response to this.
IrishCycle.com tweeted Omniplex to ask how it could justify giving free tickets to people fined for breaking the law. The cinema replied: “We love cinemagoers regardless of transport choice. Shocking lack of enforcement for 8 years leads to false sense of security.”
Responding to the strong feeling, Kerry County Council issued the following statement:
“A number of weeks ago, the Kerry County Council Tralee Municipal District Operations office received a number of complaints in relation to illegal parking on the footpaths of the N86 Dan Spring Road. The matter was investigated and found to be related to the special offer advertised by the Omniplex cinema on Tuesdays.
“…As an enforcement measure, Traffic Wardens were deployed in the area last night and a number of parking fines were issued. The situation will be monitored going forward in the interests of public safety.”
Kerry Cycling Campaign said: “Welcome to Kerry, illegally park in cycle lane for free cinema tickets, couldn’t make this up!”